NEW YORK A dozen female medics who feel they were unfairly singled out by the Fire Department for retraining on special chemical respirators are preparing to file a complaint with the FDNY.
Of the 14 Emergency Medical Service officers earmarked for retraining, 12 of them are women, department documents show. All of them have more than 10 years on the job, and at least one has prior training in chemical emergency response. Two of them are plaintiffs in a discrimination lawsuit filed last year alleging that the FDNY had passed over five senior women for promotions.
An FDNY spokesman said the retraining was not a issue of discrimination but “an issue of safety.”
“The FDNY has made great efforts to make sure every member is comfortable with the [respirator], since it’s used in very dangerous situations,” said spokesman Anthony Sclafani.
He added that an additional 40 frontline EMTs were given retraining as well. About half of them were women.